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Shared sexual responsibility: a strategy for male involvement in United States Family Planning clinics.
In: International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF]. Male involvement in family planning: programme initiatives. London, England, IPPF, . 167-76.Reviewed here are the efforts of the Planned Parenthood affiliates in the United States, showing that their focus is on female contraception. The author argues that if family planning is to be seen as a basic human right, then far more attention needs to be given to shared sexual responsibility. Although major strides have been made through federal grants and education programs, the history of meaningful male involvement has been a feeble one. It is argues that the alarming rate of teenage pregnancies, the falling statistics in vasectomy services across the country and the overall image of family planning programs, are indicative of the need for a new strategy. The little research data that is available shows that the earlier young men and boys are reached with accurate sexuality information, the more successful family planning and education services will be. The most successful sex education programs seem to be those which see sexuality education as a life-long process. More recently, research has concluded that programs working with parents and children are by far the most successful in ensuring ongoing dialogue and most meaningful behavior change. An important strategy for reaching males, partucularly with condoms, is to build on current strength in reaching female populations. Active promotion of vasectomy services, increased availability of comdom products suitably packaged and promoted, and attention-getting public service announcements, have combined to help change the image of a family planning program too often thought of as exclusively female. A representative sample of educational materials for men is included in the appendix.